Thursday, June 24, 2010

Open Water in the Great Northwest...

This morning I went downstairs ready to head out to the pool and ran into Penelope in the kitchen.  She asked if I thought I could do a pool AND an open water session later in the day.  I said nope!  But I CAN go take my bike apart and pack that up and do an open water session later.  So that was the new plan.  So I spent the morning packing my bike away and got ready to hit the open water.  My friend Andrew came with us and offered to take pictures and watch the kids and we all headed out to a small local pond.  It was really a beautifull little pond with crystal clear water.  Almost too clear.  In fact I had my frist case of the open water heebie jeebies when I first got in as I could see a little too much of the bottom and I wasn't used to that.  It was a bit creepy!

The water in the lake was very cold initially.  Definitely colder than what I'm used to back home.  But once we adjusted it wasn't bad.  I can't say I would have been able to do it without a wetsuit, although Penelope took her wetsuit off after a while and said it was ok.  But I dunno...   I kept mine on the whole time.

Initially I wasn't doing all that well...  lots of short bursts of unfocused energy.  But then Penelope swam over and the two of us worked on putting together some lengths of relaxed swimming.  It was really fun trying to draft off of her and keep her legs in sight to my right or left and follow her without actually sighting.  I finally then managed to relax and we put together my new mantra for all of my future triathlon swims.  The two of us were joking the other day about whenever we go to the pool there are these rather for lack of a better way of saying it...   ROUND women in the pool doing the worlds slowest freestyle laps.  They float so well that their balance is excellent but their arm movements are UBER slow.  So my new mantra is to swim like the old lades in the pool.  Slow, relaxed, effortless and like I can go forever.  And when I focused on trying to swim like them I actually did quite well.  I even started to enjoy the swim.  Crazy huh?  So it was a good day today.  Even better as I got to swim with Penelope.  The two times we managed to swim together out here have been great as her comments and tips have been very helpfull.  I'm looking forward to getting in the open water once I get back.

Its become a joke here that I have the "wildlife mojo" meaning that wherever I go the wildlife comes out to see me here.  And today was no exception.  After 30 minutes or so in the water as we started to get out a bald eagle did a majestic lap of the pond all around us fairly low to us too.  It was beautifull.

Having Andrew with us today meant that he was able to take some pictures of Penelope and I in the water.  Some of which came out quite good.  So heres a few of the better ones....  or at least the ones I'll show as my form looks good in them, although my head is still lifting out of the water too much when I breathe...  I have to keep working on that.  But my bilaterall breathing is still rock solid.  At this point trying to breathe only on one side is actually harder for me than both.

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